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Journey to the River Sea
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Journey to the River Sea

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,416 Ratings  ·  579 Reviews
Sent in 1910 to live with distant relatives who own a rubber plantation along the Amazon River, English orphan Maia is excited. She believes she is in for brightly colored macaws, enormous butterflies, and "curtains of sweetly scented orchids trailing from the trees." Her British classmates warn her of man-eating alligators and wild, murderous Indians. Unfortunately, no on ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 5th 2008 by Pan MacMillan (first published May 4th 2001)
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"Those who think of the Amazon as a Green Hell bring only their own fears and prejudices to this amazing land. For whether a place is a hell or a heaven rests in yourself, and those who go with courage and an open mind may find themselves in Paradise"
~ Journey To the River Sea

This is the kind of book that demands an ‘atmosphere’.....a stack of sandwiches, a tall cold glass of lemonade ;topped at regular intervals…a wooden Easy-Chair (the kind your grandpa sat on and smiled genially from) placed
Andrea Hickman Walker
This is a delightful book. There's something enchanting about the way in which Eva Ibbotson writes. This tells the story of an orphan who is shipped off to some relatives who live in Brazil. They do not meet her expectations and soon she's off having an adventure with a boy who lives on the river. This is a story about dreams and reality. It's about making your dreams reality in spite of obstacles. It's about the futility of trying to separate yourself from the environment in which you live. It' ...more
Sep 03, 2007 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun read. Eva Ibbotson has become one of my favorite writers recently. She's a British author who was born in Vienna and emigrated to England as a child in the early 30s. I raced through her adult historical fiction/romances (which are currently being re-released as YA) and enjoyed all of them, even though I was familiar her plot pattern by the third book.

This is the second children's/YA book of hers that I've read. (The first was The Star of Kazan, which I also liked a lot.) Following th
Apr 12, 2012 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-greats
This may well be my favourite book. The first time I read it, I was ten years old and it was like nothing I'd ever read before. It's just magical.

Maia, the narrator, is the orphan of two famed explorer parents. Her guardian, the staid and stuffy Mr. Murray, discovers that she has relatives living in the Amazon and, thinking that Maia needs a family, he sends her off to live with Mr. and Mrs. Carter and their twin daughters. Maia goes with an open mind, expecting a loving home and great adventur
Beth Bonini
Aug 22, 2011 Beth Bonini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been thinking a lot about how children's fiction can play a role in the moral development of a child. Ibbotson writes in a variety of genres, but even her most humorous and farcical stories always have a particular moral clarity about them. She reminds me of Dahl in that way. The baddies are lazy, selfish, greedy, grasping -- and usually rich. The goodies are kind, honest, brave, resourceful, modest and hardworking. They yearn for connectedness, not things.

Like many of Ibbotson's protagonis
Pretty interesting... It reminds me of like CInderella with da evil sisters except they r in da amazon and there is a nice maid lady
At first, this looks like a fairly predictable orphaned-English-girl-gets-shipped-off-to-live-with-distant-relatives story. Predictably, the family Maia is to live with in Brazil is horrid, and only allowed her to come at all so that they could get the allowance that comes with her. Fortunately, Maia has a very sympathetic, if somewhat mysterious governess who accompanies her to Brazil and in her adventures. It isn't until Maia's been in Brazil for a while that the story begins to come out of it ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, edwardian
Eva Ibbotson, if still with us, would have been celebrating her 90th birthday in January 2015, but sadly she died in 2010. Born in Vienna, she had to move to England in 1935 when Hitler came to power. That experience -- of being uprooted -- was drawn on directly for novels like The Morning Gift (about a girl from a secular Jewish family escaping Nazi Germany) and indirectly, I suspect, for Maia, the young protagonist of Journey to the River Sea. Who has not imagined what life might be like if on ...more
I took on the daunting task of reading Journey to the River Sea to a small group of preschoolers, mostly five-year-olds. They really enjoyed it, but boy oh boy was it a lot of work. I had to do a ton of on-the-spot editing and explaining and cropping. It's a long book and way too complex for them, but I really wanted to read a book set in South America. So we read most of it, but by the end, we had to move on, and I told them what happened and that was that.

I did not actually enjoy the book much
Mar 29, 2012 Susann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susann by: Wendy
I enjoyed this through and through, and somewhere in the second half it sailed from a 3-star rating to a 4-star one. I think it’s because, by the mid-point, almost all the events that an adult reader would predict have happened, and from then on it’s all about seeing how everything plays out and, most important, seeing Maia in her element:
“There were girls at school who wanted to ride, and others who wanted to go on the stage, and there was a girl who had made a terrible fuss till she was allowe
Journey to the River Sea is just the kind of book I loved reading as a child. It is set in the late 19th century (I've always enjoyed those books more than the ones set in more recent times) and is an adventure story with strong female characters and intelligent kids.
Maia has lost both her parents in an accident. She lives in a boarding school in London until her guardian finds distant relatives who are willing to let her live with them. Maia is very excited to have a new family again with twin
Jan 07, 2015 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this book. It's a good story with an engaging central character and plenty of incident. Maia has a lot to cope with: her parents have died and she must travel to the Amazon with a governess she does not know to live with distant relatives that she has never met. She is an adventurous person and approaches her new life with enthusiasm and spirit. But things do not turn out quite as she has hoped, and Maia is soon dealing with difficult people and an unexpected adventure.
The st
Feb 02, 2015 JLG rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when it was given to our Y6 children for their Literacy Work. It took me a while to get into the book but, eventually, I found it quite interesting. The characters were well portrayed and very typical of the 'class' system that was in evidence in Britain at that time. It also portrays the Victorian feeling that they ruled the world and other people needed to fit to their ideals.
The governess is almost like a 'Nanny McPhee' character, keeping an eye on the main character.
The book por
Jan 07, 2016 Nafisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 18, 2015 Siv30 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adults
יש לי חיבה מסויימת לספרי נוער ובמיוחד לכאלה שאמורים להיות עם ערך מוסף סביבתי. לכן, כשיצא "מסע אל ים הנהר" מיהרתי לרכוש אותו.

העלילה מתארת את המסע של מאיה לעיר מנאוס בברזיל כדי להתחיל חיים חדשים אצל קרובי משפחתה שמעולם לא פגשה. מסע שמפגיש אותה עם אנשים עולם אחר ועם טבע מרהיב וססגוני בו היא מתאהבת.

הספר מורכב ממספר עלילות שנשזרות ומתפרדות לחילופין עד לשיא של הספר שסוגר את המעגלים השונים עבור הקורא.

לזכותה של המחברת יאמר שאין ספק שאיבוטסון יודעת לעצב דמויות: התאומות הביאו לי קריז ורצון להכות אותן מכות
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I read this at school and found it quite enjoyable. The characters and storyline managed to draw me in well and I could really sense what it was like in the situation. I was drawn into the story and the atmosphere of the book.
Jan 06, 2016 Mahfuza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this together with my younger cousin and we both enjoyed it immensely. Maia's vivid details of the animals and scenery in the Amazon allowed us to imagine her journey as she traveled with Finn, the half European and half Indian boy. We both shared Maia's dislike of the Carters and found it particularly funny when the Carters got what they deserved towards the end.

It's the kind of book to read when you need a break from reality. Just escape with Maia into Manaus and enjoy the adventure.

Jun 30, 2011 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A vivid and beautifully written tale that follows Maia as she begins a new life on the banks of the Amazon after the loss of her parents two years previous. At first she is excited and eagerly awaiting her arrival, makes plans and imagining all wonderful things she will do with her new siblings and guardians. However when she and her governess, Miss Minton, arrive at the Carters riverside home, things are not quite how they imagined. Mr Carter is a bit of a recluse, Mrs Carter longs for her home ...more
Apr 11, 2010 Karin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karin by: library catalogue
I felt drawn into the story, rooting for Maia. She is a courageous heroine who tries to make the best of 2 very bad situations. The first, the loss of her parents brings her to a boarding school. This is when we are introduced to her. Then her guardian writes to let her know that she has distant relatives in South America who are willing to take her in. She decides, after a reflective evening spent in the library, that the Amazon might be a great new adventure. She befriends a young actor on the ...more
The cover looked interesting but i couldnt bring myself to read the book because i felt that it wouldnt be interesting as the cover,but i gave it a try and i am so glad i did,if not i would surely have missed this wonderfully&richly written book so perfectly to captivate readers,who would simply love to get lost in this story.
Story of an orphaned girl Maia who goes to live with her relatives the Carters,accompanied by her newly appointed governess Miss Minton to Brazil.Finally happy that she
April Knapp
Review Originally Posted Here

Journey to the River Sea, despite some flaws, was an enjoyable read.

Maia is a character who is easy to like. She is popular, but humble, sweet, and talented, but she also has several flaws- she fears people, doesn't stick up for herself, and hides. Some may find those flaws annoying, but I totally relate! Despite her fear of people, she is intelligent, resourceful, and deeply cares about others.

Finn and Miss Minton are also very likeable characters. Maia and Finn's
Read it once, retain fond memories.

Read it twice, and feel the love be rekindled.

That's pretty much what I went through when I "rediscovered" this little gem from my elementary school years. For ages, I'd passed it by on the library shelves, always putting it on the reread list for when I had time - and a lack of new, shiny titles to discover. It wasn't until I discovered that our library had gotten rid of BOTH COPIES (I mean, who does that to classic children's literature!) that I took the init
Jul 14, 2010 Darragh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When i saw this book here i got an explosion of memories. I remembered with dewey-eyed nostalgia about getting this book for christmas. Being male i looked at the book a bit taken-aback. The protagonist was a GIRL (gasp). I can't tell you how funny the book looked amongst all my other books on my bookshelf. It was as if it was a loner being stared at by my closely knit groups of Roald Dahl books, Harry potter books and other book series's. When i started to read the book, i was shocked to find t ...more
Jul 26, 2012 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Journey to the River Sea is a wonderful book – I enjoyed every page. Maia is an orphan, happy at the school where she is but longing for a family; she receives news that she is to join some distant relatives in Brazil - a family with two twin girls. She bounces with enthusiasm about this new country and the prospect of new friends; when she arrives, things are not as she expected. She is met with hostility and cruelty. Her plans to discover all the newness of her new home seem thwarted initially ...more
Nov 30, 2008 Cecilia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a girl who usually goes to this orphanage but one day they find her parents who live close to the river sea. So one day she travels all the way to the River Sea. She thinks that they will be a very nice family but it doesn't really turn out that way. There are lots of problems that she faces while living with this family in the middle of the forest. There are two daughters that live there who are very neat and have all these classes and don't like aything that could get them d ...more
Josie Rideg
Jun 19, 2015 Josie Rideg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though a young adult book, I greatly enjoyed reading this story and contrasting life in early 20th century England to that of the exotic Amazon Jungle and the city of Manaus, it is a gripping and colorful story. One loses oneself in the sounds and images of the jungle, and finds it hard, as did Maia in the story, to come back to day to day reality in this "civilized" world.
Ed Lehman
This young adult book is on the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up list and deservedly so. A British schoolgirl, Maia, becomes an orphan. Her only distant relatives live in Brazil near Manaus. (It is 1910.) The Carter family has only taken her in because they need the money from her trust account. Maia and her governess become friends with a child actor on the voyage to Brazil. She also becomes friends with some local Indians. That is the scene for what becomes a set of adven ...more
Sep 28, 2014 Allan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable narrative with loveable heroes and Dickensian like villains and themes perfect for generating discussion with young readers, all told in the backdrop of the Amazon rainforest, which is vividly recreated throughout.
James Minter
Jun 04, 2014 James Minter rated it really liked it
Although a childrens story, Eva's writing has appeal to the older reader. A story of conflict and struggle between doing what is expected and what your heart desires set in the Amazonian jungle in the early 20th century.
Saila Iltaf
Nov 07, 2015 Saila Iltaf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for the first time 10 years ago in primary school. It is a fantastic story full of adventures. The author has really thought about how to set the setting in a fun and imaginative way, in order to keep the readers engaged.
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Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy.

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduated with a diploma in edu
More about Eva Ibbotson...

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“They were steaming out of the station before Maia asked, 'Was it books in the trunk?'
'It was books, admitted Miss Minton.
And Maia said, 'Good.”
“I would let her...have adventures. I would let her...choose her path. It would be was hard...but I would do it. Oh, not completely, of course. Some things have to go on. Cleaning one's teeth, arithmetic. But Maia fell in love with the Amazon. It happens. THe place was for her - and the people. Of course there was some danger, but there is danger everywhere. Two years ago, in this school, there was an outbreak of typhus, and three girls died. CHildren are knocked down and killed by horses every week, here in these streets--" She broke off, gathering her thoughts. "When she was traveling and exploring...and finding her songs, Maia wasn't just happy, she was...herself. I think something broke in Maia when her parents died, and out there it healed. Perhaps I'm mad--and the professor too-- but I think children must lead big lives...if it is in them to do so.” 8 likes
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